Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood is slated to open in late 2010.

A new retirement community for active seniors will soon take shape in Kirkwood. Aberdeen Heights will be built on the site of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital, with groundbreaking scheduled to take place in the spring. Providing quality, active senior living and health care within a Christian-based community is at the heart of its mission, according to marketing director Laura Sample, who notes that Aberdeen Heights is owned by Ashfield Active Living, a subsidiary of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America System. “They’ve been serving southern Missouri and Kansas for almost 60 years as one of the largest not-for-profit retirement community organizations,” she says.

Aberdeen Heights, the company’s first St. Louis project, is a ‘Life Care’ community, giving residents priority access to a full continuum of on-site care, including catered or assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing, Sample explains. “Aberdeen Heights Life Care means that our residents will get an ‘equalized rate,’ or pay one predictable monthly fee. Even when one spouse eventually requires a higher level of care, they will still pay the same rate,” she says, adding that this system makes for good estate preservation. “Ninety percent to 95 percent of their entrance fee is refundable to their estate.”

The $155 million community in the heart of Kirkwood, slated for completion in late 2010, will include 250 one- to two-bedroom independent living apartment homes. “Most of the floor plans have two full baths, and all homes have a usable balcony, full kitchen, washer and dryer, and 9-foot ceilings with lots of windows,” Sample says. She adds that plans call for more than 3,500 square feet of common areas featuring an aquatic center, full-service spa, beauty and barber shops, activity and game rooms, an art gallery, chapel and performing arts center. Walking trails are also in the works, since the property consists of 53 percent green space. The surrounding area is mostly residential, with Kirkwood Park and St. Louis Community College just steps away, and downtown Kirkwood five blocks away.

Aberdeen Heights’ information center and design gallery is now open and offers potential residents a peek at the future campus, as well as a virtual apartment tour and real-life display of a kitchen and bath. Units are 44 percent sold, but Sample says it’s not too late to become a priority member before a public open house takes place this fall.

She says the new community is generating plenty of interest, especially from those within a five- to 10-mile radius of Kirkwood. “We have many Kirkwood residents, and also people from Des Peres, Frontenac, Glendale and Webster Groves, who want to stay connected and engaged within their communities, and Aberdeen Heights allows them to do that.”